Grant Little did not have to wait long to learn his fate in the 2018 MLB Draft.
The 21 year old sophomore infielder was selected in the second round 74th overall by the San Diego Padres. Little became the first Texas Tech player taken in this year’s draft, and is the highest drafted Red Raider since Barrett Barnes was picked 45th overall by the Pirates in 2012.
Many thought Little was a day two selection prior to the draft (Baseball America had him going in the 5th round at pick 158 to the Chicago Cubs), however it should not come as much of a surprise to Red Raider fans that Little shot up the draft boards given the outstanding 2018 season he had.
Little was named a freshman all american by many different publications in 2017, and was a unanimous selection to the All Big 12 Freshman team. He came into this season under the radar for the 2018 MLB draft, however his breakout 2018 season turned many heads, and his name rose up drafts boards quickly.
Little’s 2018 season was undoubtedly one of the better seasons for an underclassmen Red Raider in recent memory. As of today, his batting average of .380 is second in the Big 12 only behind fellow Red Raider Josh Jung. His 12 home runs rank tied for second on the team, and he ranks in the top ten in the Big 12 for hits, Slug%, OB%, RBI, and doubles. His 70 RBI ranked second on the team only behind Jung, and their combined RBI was higher than any duo in the Big 12. Adding on to his exceptional offensive numbers, Little has provided the Red Raiders with great left field defense in crucial situations.
Little was named a 2018 unanimous All Big 12 first team selection, and was also named a 3rd team All American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. Little has been an integral part to the success of the Red Raiders over the course of the season, and his regional play allowed the team to sweep all three games. Little went 5-12 from the plate, and had 3 RBI. His play earned him a spot on the all-Lubbock Regional team. The team will need Grant to continue his success in the Super Regional vs. Duke in order to advance to their third College World Series in the last five years.
If Little wanted to return to Texas Tech, he would have until August 15th before forfeiting college eligibility. He would have two years of eligibility remaining as a Red Raider, however the prospect of millions of dollars and the ability to shine quickly in the minor leagues will be extremely hard for Little to pass up. The Padres are currently last in the NL West, and need players like Little to improve their offense, as they are 23rd in runs and 26th in batting average in the MLB.
Will Little return to Texas Tech next season? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!